Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect or influence of Concept Mapping and Students Academic Performance in Mathematics in Senior Secondary Schools in Eket Local Government Area. The study population was made up of all senior secondary two (SS2) Mathematics students in the ten public secondary schools in Eket Local Government Area. Two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study, and a sample size of One Hundred (100) mathematics students were randomly selected from the four (4) secondary schools in the study area. Quasi-experimental research design was employed in this study. Mathematics Performance Test (MATPET) was used as the main instrument for data collection in the study. The data obtained from the instrument was presented and analyzed using the independent t-test statistical technique.
The results of the findings revealed that there is a significant difference in academic performance of students taught Mathematics using concept mapping method of teaching. Also, the females scored slightly higher than the males but when subjected to a t-test analysis, there was no significant difference in academic performance between male and female students taught Mathematics using concept mapping method of teaching. Based on the findings, it was recommended that concept mapping method should be used in teaching Mathematics concepts in secondary schools as to improve academic performance of students, interest and classroom participation in the subject.
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
Learning is a purposeful, conscious and complex process. An important feature of learning is that it involves a complex interactive system including environmental, social, motivational, emotional and cognitive factors (Baron& Byrne, 2003; Huffman,2004; Joyce, Weil & Cathown, 2004). Various teaching-learning strategies have been developed to accelerate learning process of students. Learning strategies evolve from the learning theories defining the role of teachers, students and the contents. In Pakistan, at present, mostly behavioural practices are in vogue in schools were students are passive and classroom environment is mostly teacher dominated (Igbal,2011).
The national policy on education 2013 stresses for the paradigin shift from the behavourism to constructivism to enhance conceptual learning in science and development of attitude towards learning of science. This curriculum demands such teaching-learning strategies that may involves students in their own knowledge construction, placing them as centre of learning activity and teacher as a facilitator.
Concept mapping is one of the teaching-learning strategies under constructivism having its orientation in Davis Ausubel’s Assimilation theory (1968) of cognitive learning, which aims at fostering meaningful learning by students. Concept mapping as a learning strategy uses a rich social environment, where learners work individually and in groups to scaffold and mediate learning of each other (Oakley, 2004). Concept mapping is a technique of visually representing the structure of information, concepts and their relationship. Research studies in the field of science education reflect that concept mapping can be used as a successful teaching-learning strategy from primary school to university level.
Concept maps are used as a tool for meaningful learning, assessment, instructional planning and findings out the alternative concepts or misconception held by the learners (Nesbit & Adesope, 2006; Novak & Canas, 2006). Learning through concept mapping has long lasting effect on memory demonstrated in the form of better results in delayed post test as compared with other manipulative learning strategies like experimental method and concept mapping (Hilbert & Renkl, 2007, Donnell, Dansereau & Hall, 2002).
However, Chabeli (2010) posited that if students can link new information to their existing conceptual framework, they can construct new, meaningful interconnection so that the existing conceptions are transformed, enriched or revised and conceptual change occurs. Therefore existing conception are transformed during knowledge construction, that construction is that of understanding. Gravett (2011) added that interactions, collaboration, dialogue and discourse are key concepts in facilitating understanding of educational activities.
The author further stated teaching method should succeed in revealing the subject contents to the students and the teaching method used for instruction, be it in the classroom or in the laboratory should have a scientific character. It is therefore important to investigate didactic method validity in view of laying down guidelines to improve the practice of teaching mathematics and promote creative and critical thinking among students. It was on this background that the study is carried out to investigate the effect of concept mapping on the academic performance of students in Mathematics in secondary schools in Eket Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The importance of Mathematics as a tool for science and technology is continually increasing. While science and technology have become so pervasive, Mathematics education has continued to dominate the school curriculum and remains a key subject area requirement in higher education and employment sector.
Despite the high position offered to Mathematics in Nigeria education system, many students struggle to learn Mathematics and often do not achieve success through their learning. This may stem from the fact that, they do not construct appropriate understanding of fundamental Mathematics concepts through their learning strategies. This has left the students with poor performance in both public and internal examinations (Obodo, 2004).
It is also disheartening that approaches and strategies for teaching and learning of this subject at secondary levels of education are not probably being put to use effectively that could promote learners activity and provide learners’ guided practice enabling them to retain concepts taught and solve problems (Achor, Imoko & Uloko 2009). It is against this backdrop that this study was carried out to determine effect of concept mapping on academic performance of students in Mathematics in secondary schools in the study area.
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of Sir Pee Integrated Services and www.libraryguru.com and www.projectvilla.com.ng. A reputable researcher, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.